The bridge model was developed at about the same time as the 1899 Riverside Maximus, the specification is very similar with the main difference being, as the name implies, the design of the top plate which is in the form of a central bridge with two cocks for the escape and pallet much the same as a Swiss Lepine movement although in this case all three sections are in fact made in one piece but still retained with 4 screws.
|Left: 1899 Bridge model (1900) Right: 1899 RM (1901)|
RM the movement was adjusted for Temperature, Isochronism and in 5 positions although there is some speculation that the Bridge model was adjusted to closer tolerances.
The train was gold as were the jewel settings. Many of the steel parts were chamfered, in this example that included the lever pallet.
There were 4 diamond end stones, in this example 2 were on the top plate and 2 on the balance, on the 1908 Bridge some (all?) had the diamonds in pairs on the balance and escape, as does my RM from 1901 (a few very early RMs had 5 diamonds but this was quickly discontinued). Other jewels are ruby and sapphire.
3 piece dial, however watches sent to the UK by Waltham for sale here or in the dominions, usually came without dials (I believe to save import duty) and dials were sourced from the UK or Switzerland in which case it could very well be original.
The case is in 25 year Filled gold by the Crescent Watch Case Company and is probably 14 carat.
This is a particularly fine example and measured electronically the average error in 5 positions was about 0.5 seconds / 24 hours, as with any average however there can be some variation, in this case the error is on the average Face Up, Face Down and Pendant up but with a balancing +/- 10 seconds per day Pendant left and Pendant right, correcting that has been left for another day as things are likely to change as the watch settles down from its servicing.
The total number of serial numbers reserved for the 1899 Bridge model was:
|1,010||23J||Open Faced||5 runs|
|190||19J||Open Faced||1 run|
The total production may have been lower. At the time of writing the NAWCC Waltham database is down so I am unable to find out how many 1908 Bridge models were made (including the Premier Maximus). A significant portion of the (later?) Bridge model were made for E. Howard and sold under their name.
"Book" retail price in the USA is between $2,000 and $3,000 (make that pounds in UK) and given its condition most likely towards the high end, it being held back by doubts about the dial. A full set of hi-resolution photos are available on Zenfolio, be aware that this watch is NOT FOR SALE!